Monday, October 12, 2009

Golden Hills Trail Marathon 2009

I ran this marathon the last two years. It was my first marathon. The first time I ran it, I hurt EVERYWHERE I could possibly hurt. But I loved it!! With my bad ankle sprain in July and my arthritis in my knee, I didn't put in enough miles over the summer to warrant signing up for it this year. So, I volunteered to work an aid station. I mean, just because I couldn't run 26.2 miles, it didn't mean I wanted to miss ALL THIS:




Can't get this in a road race, people!
My assignment was to work the Fern Dell aid station from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. I got lost and didn't get to the aid station until 10:45. Yup, I got really lost!



The marathon is a point-to-point course. It is run at the same time as Dick Collins Firetrails 50-miler, along the same course but the 50-miler is a loop. While working the aid station, I was able to see the front runners of the 50-miler come through. The lead runner came by (with 10.3 miles to go) at 4:30 and ended up completing the race in 6:30! I was also there to see the first woman come by and she finished in 7:54. Woohoo!



I was so excited to see a girl running down the trail toward the aid station wearing a pink top and a long pony tail swinging side to side. It was Theresa! I went running up the trail with my arms open wide, to meet her. I wrapped my arms around her and we ran to the aid station together. It was so great to see her. She said her legs were cramping up. I fed her whatever she wanted and refilled her water bottle. We chatted for a few minutes (and took a picture of course) and off she went.



Theresa took 42 minutes off her time from last year
Then it was time to drive over to Skyline Gate to meet up with Steve so we could sweep a portion of the course.



Steve & I getting ready to "sweep" part of the marathon course
I didn't know Steve before this day but, of course, we got to know each other while chatting it up during our sweeping duties. I was amazed at how many people we both knew and also how many races we have both been at. Maybe I shouldn't be amazed though, really. I guess the ultra-running community is sort of a small one, comparatively speaking. Our job was to remove all of the pink ribbons from the course and also sweep the flour away so the ground looks normal again. Even though it was only about six miles, it took a while because of all the stopping. We got some pretty good running in though, for at least half of it. I took a few pictures but my camera was acting up so a lot of them came out blurry. I was able to salvage some of them. This is absolutely one of the most beautiful marathon courses you will ever find. I have posted some photos of these parks before. Jana and I have taken the dogs up there a few times.





As many times as I have been in the area, I've never seen this bench before. Kind of odd that I actually noticed it today. Maybe because I was looking for ribbons and it caught my attention.

After my sweeping duties were done, I wanted to go to the finish line and see a bunch of my friends that were either doing the marathon or the 50-miler. Another great thing about this race is they have a HUMONGOUS BBQ afterwards, with every kind of burger and sausage option you can imagine. Oh, and lots of desserts too. ;)
After I parked and was walking down to the picnic area, look who I saw:

Everyone's most supportive running buddy, Lori
Sue Corrie, Lori's good friend, was running her first 50-miler today (her time was 10:13) and she showed up at the finish line to support her. Remember when Lori showed up at my first triathlon? Yah, she's THAT kind of supportive!! Everyone should have a Lori in their life. I'm certainly glad I do.
I saw Victoria of flirty 'n dirty after she completed her first 50-miler in 9:30ish. She was quite cold by the time I showed up so she quickly got away before I could get a picture of her in all her glory. Great job Victoria! Rick of 365me finished a tad slower than he did last year but still quite respectable at 8:29 and some change. That's how long it takes me to do 50K, not 50 MILES. I was also very happy and surprised to see Mike Bohi of Hold It! What am I doing? who completed the 50-miler in 10:14. I haven't seen Mike since Miwok 100K in April. I had no idea he was even training for this. I was just walking in the picnic area and I hear, "hey lady" and when I turned around I saw Mike all wrapped up in a blanket, sitting on the bench. Nice to see you Mike.
I couldn't resist a piece of cake before I said my goodbyes and drove home. It was a long day on my feet, considering I didn't run a lot of miles. All in all, a great day in the mountains seeing good friends achieve great things. Next year, I'm there! The marathon, not the 50-miler.
Until later.............

16 comments:

run to eat said...

You humble me! And look who's talking, Ms. Course Sweeper!

But you did forgot to mention that I am usually much, much cuter! That picture is scary! That's what I get for standing next to you in a picture. And at least this time your hand isn't right under my boob :)

p.s. nice to hear your thought of running it again next year. Glad you are back to what you love and found some other things along the way.
Love you,

run to eat said...

in a purely platonical we were once high school enemies kind of way :)

Victoria said...

It was so great to see you at the finish, Jo Lynn! Yes, I was freezing, but I'm glad that you ended up getting there before I headed for my car and the heater.

Nick said...

Great pictures.
6:30 for a 50 miler? Wow!

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

Looks like a great race to put on the bucket list. Maybe when the kids are out of the house and traveling will be easier.

I worked one marathon once when I couldn't compete since I had a broken ankle. I was going to work mile mark 20 but all my friends said you have to work mile 25, its the Hashers. I had no idea what they meant. After I was drunk at 9am I quickly came to realize the Hash House Harriers is a drinking club with a running problem.

Cheers!

jen said...

Nice job!! I would love to do that race some day. It is so beautiful. Great photos. :)

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

50 miles?? But wow what an amazing place to run.. Love the photos as always!

Lily on the Road said...

Volunteering is such a great way to spend the day, good for you!!

Wow, you run a marathon over that terrain? You're my IDOL....

Missy said...

That is a good looking table of snacks! I've got this racing thing all wrong...

Maryland Girl aka Michelle said...

Gorgeous! Of course I would fall over onto my face trail running - hiking it I could do....

theresa said...

That's the first time I've ever seen someone with a broom to "sweep" the course!!! Glad you got to be a part of that and so glad you got to meet Steve! Thanks for being such a great friend out there and helping me through the aid station. Seeing you was one of the great parts of the day!

Looney said...

Wonderful pictures. I hadn't given it a thought, but certainly the aid stations on trail runs are incomparably more tempting than anything on a road race. So which is it that is the deciding factor on trail vs. road? The food? Or the scenery?

Or the new friends you meet ...

Glenn Jones said...

Okay - first things first. Eveybody is allowed to make a istake. Renounce the Giants. Renounce them I tell you! No - I COMMAND you!!!!

Ha ha! I grew up in L.A., and my ties to the Dodgers goes back to my crib. Both my Uncles are Dodgers fans. My best friend all through High School is a Dodgers fan. Even God (according to Tommy Lasorda) is a Dodgers fan!

In all seriousness, thank you soooo much for all the kind words and encouragement these past few weeks. I really appreciate them. They *really* do help.

Oh the bike? That wasn't the half of it. There were two major roads that the marathon passed. The police were letting cars through when there were breaks in the runners. FAIL!

That course you worked at this weekend looks absolutely stunning! Nothing like that here in Southern California.

Thanks again JoLynn!

Irene said...

That first picture (with the sweets and other goodies) just busted me up!

What a beautiful course!

Rick Gaston said...

Hey sugar hound, how ya doing:) You didn't know Steve before Saturday?! Sometimes you just assume that everyone knows each. Yeah he's a good guy and I love the jacket he picked out this year for Firetrails finishers. Beautiful, beautiful shots of the course. I never even knew that bench existed, probably because I never train in the area.

Marci said...

That food spread speaks to me! I would love to run a trail marathon in your neck of the woods- it looks so beautiful!